Phoebe is left with few choices in life, after losing her mother as a child and now her father. She can stay in America and care for her half-brother's children, or she can go to England and live with the grandfather she's never met and who disowned her mother when she married beneath her. It is the worst possible timing for Phoebe that her Grandfather passed away on her voyage to England.
Major Lucas Stanton never expected to inherit a title, but when he learned he was going to be the next in line he knew he needed to learn as much as possible from the Earl before his death. Lucas came to respect the man, so much so that as the Earl was dying, Lucas agreed to his last wish, which was for Lucas to marry Phoebe to ensure she is taken care of. Lucas knew he needed to marry at some point in his life, so he saw no reason that if Phoebe was at least passably attractive and agreeable they shouldn't wed.
Phoebe knew none of this when she is met her first day in England by Lucas. When he explains the situation she decides to at least stay in England long enough to meet her relatives and then make a decision. Phoebe can imagine nothing nicer then to spend her life loving Lucas, but he is determined that he will never love again, and she is determined to marry for nothing less than love.
So first thing first. The title and the following storyline. The manor is titled Mistletoe. The servants, for the majority, all have the last name Christmas. It was a bit much, especially when Lucas really didn't care for celebrating Christmas and so he became the Scrooge.
Then there is the smuggling subplot. The whole village had to turn to smuggling to survive the down economy, but Lucas is vehemently opposed to any smuggling being done on or near his land. The only reason given, being that he fought in the war. And Phoebe just wants to take care of everyone so she sides with the villagers and it ends up being the rift in their relationship. Of course, it doesn't stop them from having passionate sex, it just means they aren't talking to each other.
Overall, His Mistletoe Bride wasn't a horrible book. It wasn't an amazing book, either. It's one of those books that I just didn't have feelings towards one way or the other. I hate to fall back on this, but must honestly just say that if you liked Ms. Kelly's other books, you will enjoy this one. Otherwise I would pass.